Who Uses Credit Cards and Why?

By: Jon Francis

Plastic has changed the face of the world as we know it. Over the past few decades, credit cards have crossed the line from luxury to necessity. They're no longer a symbol of profligate spending and living beyond your means. Instead, they've become a valuable tool to help you safeguard your cash, deal with emergencies, track your spending and even earn a little extra on the side. Is it time for you to apply for a credit card?

According to the latest stats from the FSA, there are enough credit cards issued in the UK for every single adult to have at least four in his or her wallet. The reasons for using credit cards vary from person to person, but most use credit cards for one or more of the following reasons. If you're of a mind to apply for a credit card, consider which of these reasons suit you so that you choose the right credit card for your needs.

Cash in an Emergency
While it's nice to have the savings to handle any emergency, it's not always the case. Credit cards offer immediate money when you need to get the car back on the road or pay for other emergency expenses, and the luxury of being able to pay it back in small bits over time. A credit card with low interest rates on new purchases is ideal.

Cash and Merchandise Rewards
Many credit card UK companies run loyalty programmes that offer cash back and reward points for using your credit card. These credit cards can be a real boon IF you make a point of paying off your account monthly. By putting all your spends on your cash back or reward credit card, you can earn great merchandise or get a discount on everything you purchase.

Convenience
You can use your credit card at the till in nearly any shop, as well as use it to make purchases online, over the telephone or by post. It's far easier than writing cheques, and credit cards are more widely accepted than cheques. You don't need to worry about having exact change, or being few pennies short of the full amount of your purchase.

Keeping Track of Your Spends
When you pay with your credit card, you'll have a handy record of all your purchases so that you can easily track your spends. In fact, many business owners use credit cards for exactly that reason.

Keeping Your Money Safe
When you lose your wallet with cash in it, you can usually kiss your cash goodbye. When you lose a credit card UK law limits your liability for any spends made on your card. In addition, most credit card companies offer automatic cover for anything purchased with their card to ensure that it is delivered safely and works as advertised.

Credit Cards
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